Sea Level Rise Task Force Public Outreach Plan
Updated October 13, 2010
Public outreach and stakeholder involvement will be crucial to the development and public acceptance of the Sea Level Rise Task Force's (SLRTF) recommendations. The public outreach work group will develop and implement stakeholder involvement strategies with the goal of supporting the SLRTF's decision-making process. Unless otherwise noted, the public outreach work group will be responsible for completion of all objectives cited below.
Objective 1 - Incorporate stakeholders into impact sector deliberations
Agencies participating in the SLRTF have assigned appropriate staff to the legal and sector impact work groups. Inclusion of a broad spectrum of individuals, including community representatives, in the work groups provides opportunities for early input by interested parties. As part of the outreach strategy, work group leaders have recruited individuals with appropriate expertise to serve as work group members and have incorporated specific stakeholders as integral members of the work groups. The work groups may also meet with stakeholders to hear their views on particular issues. Stakeholder involvement activities undertaken at the work group level will be coordinated with the outreach work group to ensure consistency of message and to avoid duplication of outreach efforts.
Objective 2 - Provide public access to information on the SLRTF's activities and informational documents
To facilitate public participation in the development of recommendations, a sea level rise web page has been created and will be maintained by DEC's Office of Climate Change. The Office of Climate Change has established an email listserv and will use it to distribute information to interested and involved parties.
The Public Outreach Work Group will assemble a list of potentially interested organizations and distribute via postal mail, or email where practical, direct notice of the opportunity to enroll in the email listserv and watch the website for information on the SLRTF's activities and opportunities to participate. Potentially interested parties include the following:
- civic associations
- professional societies
- environmental organizations
- homeowner and community associations
- planning organizations
- environmental justice organizations
- municipal governments
- elected officials
Objective 3 - Provide opportunities for public participation in SLRTF meetings
SLRTF meetings will be open for observation by the public and will be noticed on the sea level rise web page. Meeting observers may not participate in SLRTF discussions unless requested to do so by the SLRTF chair, but opportunities for observer comment on matters before the SLRTF will be provided as time allows at each SLRTF meeting.
Objective 4 - Provide opportunities for public input on specific issues
The SLRTF or its work groups may identify specific questions or issues on which to seek public input. Notification of opportunities to comment on any such questions or issues will be distributed via the listserv and posted on the website. Comments provided in electronic format, as well as general comments, will be posted on the website.
Objective 5 - Provide opportunities for public to comment on approach and suggest issues to be addressed in SLRTF recommendations
The task force will hold a series of three to five public meetings in late January 2009 to describe the approach the SLRTF is using to generate its recommendations, hear public comment on that approach, and to allow the public to suggest issues to be addressed by the recommendations. The meetings will be held at places and times convenient to the public.
Objective 6 - Provide opportunities for public review of draft final report
The Steering Committee will produce a draft final report incorporating the recommendations for future action as recommended by the work groups and approved by the SLRTF. The draft final report will be released for public review and comment in November 2010. Release of the draft recommendations will be achieved through the website, listserv and news release and will include notice of opportunities to comment on the draft recommendations.
Written public comment on the group reports will be accepted during a 30-day public comment period to follow release of the draft report. The task force will conduct a public information and comment videoconference and webinar during the public comment period. Videoconference locations will include DEC offices in each of Albany, Westchester, New York City and Suffolk County. The webinar will be accessible via an Internet connection. The videoconference/webinar shall be duly noticed in the Environmental Notice Bulletin and on the DEC sea level rise website.